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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Did Garnett take a bullet for Murphy because he cared about a member of his group, or because he was the only hope to save the world?
      • He did it for Warren. If Murphy died, she'd have to drag his stinking corpse to California.
    • Murphy. Does he actually care about anyone else, or does he just feel that he owes the rest of the team for protecting him? And how much has his status as a zombie hybrid affected him psychologically? Was his decision to let a mother and daughter be killed by their zombified husband/father an act of mercy to keep them from dying more slowly after he stole their food and water, or is it a sign he's really a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent for the zombies? Barring all of these, does he just get off on his own importance?
      • Amazingly, as of the end of season 3, at which point Murphy has started a cult whose members he can control psychically, and discovered that he has to eat a human occasionally to maintain his own mental stability, the writers have still kept this unclear. He's in charge, and doesn't hesitate to reap the benefits of his position, but he's also genuinely keeping his followers safe and everything running for the very real benefit of everyone. It could still very easily go either way.
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    • At the end of Season 1, Murphy flees the lab, knowing that doing so will launch a nuke at everyone there. Was this an act of suicide? Was he just so terrified of Kurian that he wasn't acting rationally? Did he think that he alone might have a chance of survival? Did he really think he could get away in the van? Or was he savvy enough to already realize who Kurian really was, and saw this as the only chance to eliminate him?
    • We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon gives another possible interpretation of Murphy. He doesn't seem to care about slaughtering a huge number of zombies until they arrive, and he runs forward screaming "they can feel!" and trying to turn them back. This makes it sound like he's The Empath feeling their pain. So, is his Blue and Orange Morality in regards to zombies genuine, or an attempt to cover up his perceived weakness as a zombie empath?
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  • Arc Fatigue: A rare case in which the stall can actually be tracked in terms of physical geographical distance. For the first season they made pretty good time from New York to California, getting as far as Colorado but in 'Doctor of the Dead' Murphy runs from the group, which culminates in them ending up in Wisconsin before they're back on track.
  • Awesome Music: Jason Gallagher's "Have Mercy" (the show's opening theme).
  • Creator's Pet: Doc in season 3 got a couple of episodes focused solely on him, an honor the rest of the cast did not get. Murphy had specific episodes too, but those were plot important that he was integral too. Doc just got put in filler that could have been done by anybody.
  • Creepy Cute: Lucy, Murphy's zombie baby.
  • Designated Hero: Murphy always fell into this category (if not outright Villain Protagonist), but more and more in season 2 the heroes seem to feel that the ends justify the means. Since getting Murphy to California is the possible salvation of all mankind, all other considerations become secondary.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Murphy. There's a portion of the fans who seem to have missed the memo that he's the Token Evil Teammate.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The zombie baby is getting some love from fans as well.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: "Die Zombie Die... Again" is a Bizarro Episode which features only two cast members, develops only one, and only serves to lay some exposition for another episode which, by season 2, has at best nominal importance to the plot. Beyond that, it literally ends on All Just a Dream. The episode could be omitted from the season, and pretty much nothing would be affected.
  • Foe Yay: Warren and Murphy can be really intense around each other. They've been through a lot of shit together and probably get each other better than anyone else, but Murphy resents Warren for being his jailer and Warren resents Murphy for making it so difficult to get him to California. It can make scenes where they're really mad each other feel kind of weird.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Doc and Cassandra fake having very noisy sex in a trailer to fool Cassandra's fellow cultists.
    • After a Sister of Mercy gets it on with Murphy, Doc shoos her away when it becomes time to leave. Murphy smirks and says, "I thought she'd never leave."
    • When Doc is forced to explain to Lucy where she came from, he uses a pie as an analogy for sex. Cut to Murphy and Serena dancing around a pie creepily and feeding each other pie.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • More of a production example. It's a halfway decent show about zombies. Made by The Asylum.
    • An actor example, DJ Qualls, who normally does comedies like The New Guy, does a great job as Citizen Z.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    "Sunshine?"
    "MY NAME IS CASSANDRA!" (taser to the mouth)
  • Narm: The zombie baby, though it might be Narm Charm for some.
  • Older Than They Think: Fans accusing this show of ripping off The Walking Dead. Because The Walking Dead created the zombie genre, right?
    • Although to be fair, Z Nation seems to be a Lighter and Softer version of Walking Dead in terms of post-zombie apocalypse TV Shows about survival....however, not to the degree that it can be considered a "rip-off".
  • Squick: "The Murphy" has zombie strippers.
  • Tear Jerker: Roberta's reunion with her husband in Home Sweet Zombie, Roberta waits to die in the zombie tornado, her dead fireman husband emerges. The zombie tries to attack her, but due to his fireman gear, he protects her from harm and she gets to say goodbye.
    • Lucy's death in "Back From the Undead". Driven home by the music.
  • Values Resonance: Relative to the rest of the zombie genre. Most zombie stories seem to forget that zombies are human remains or, even worse, sick humans. This show, for all its campiness, directly deals with that issue by having characters give "mercy."
  • Villain Decay: Kurian. In his first appearance he's the most utterly terrifying human villain to appear in the show. In later episodes he's subject to the whims of the Zeros.
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